Press Release

Arianespace and ELV sign collaboration agreement for Vega launcher production and operation

By SpaceRef Editor
June 19, 2003
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Le Bourget, June 19, 2003 – At the Paris Air Show today, Silvano Casini,
Chief Executive Officer of ELV, and Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chief Executive
Officer of Arianespace, signed a collaboration agreement between their two
companies concerning Vega launcher production and operation at Europe’s
Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Also on hand for the signature was
Jean-Jacques Dordain, future Director General of the European Space Agency.

ELV, as industrial prime contractor, will be in charge of production of the
launcher’s components and integration in French Guiana. As the launcher
design authority, it will also participate in final preparations and launch

Arianespace is the Vega operator, and is in charge of the launch services
contract. At the Guiana Space Center, it will be responsible for Vega launch
facilities and integration of the upper segment and satellite. It will also
carry out final preparation and launch operations.

The organization for Vega launches is similar to that used for the Ariane
and Soyuz programs, to maximize the synergies between these programs.

Vega comprises three solid-propellant stages and a fourth stage with a
re-ignitable liquid-propellant engine. It is scheduled to start operations
in mid-2006. Primarily used for scientific and Earth observation satellites,
Vega will be able to boost 1,500 kg into polar orbit at 700 kilometers.

About ELV

Based in Colleferro, Italy, ELV is the industrial prime contractor for the
Vega program. Vega is a European Space Agency (ESA) program, financed by
Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden.
Shareholders are FiatAvio (with 70%) and the Italian space agency (30%).

About Arianespace (

Arianespace is the world’s commercial launch services leader holding more
than 50 percent of the international market for satellites launched to
geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). Created in 1980 as the world’s first
commercial space transportation company, Arianespace has signed 252 launch
contracts and has launched more than 210 satellite payloads. The company’s
headquarters is located in Evry, near Paris and launch operations are
performed from the Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana (South America).

SpaceRef staff editor.